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Could Upwork Help Ease Payment Withdrawal Difficulties for Freelancers in Developing Countries?

Hi everyone, I've been on Upwork for a couple years now and a recurring and somewhat persistently annoying problem has been difficulties experienced when trying to withdraw earned income. I assume for most folks out there withdrawal simply means initiating a withdrawal and receiving what's due in minutes or even seconds after appropriate fees are deducted right? Good for you but for some of us, it's sometimes a matter of hours and possibly days. For instance, I initiated a withdrawal 15 hours ago and as at the time I'm typing this, I'm still hoping to receive it today. Last time I did, it took 14 hours but it's beginning to look like I chose the wrong day to initiate my transaction as it appears the payment system observes the weekend holidays!

Not to make light of the situation but besides delays in waiting for withdrawals to show up, there's also been the issue of overly unfavourable exchange rates. A couple of months ago, while the regular exchange rate was around 360 to $1 and payment services outside Upwork were offering between 350-355 to the $, our Upwork withdrawal exchange rate was fixed at between 330-335 to a $. Currently, with rates hovering around 400 to the $ and payment services offering between 375 - 385 to the $, we have to make do with Upwork's partner withdrawal rate of 365 for a $ all with an unbearable payment withdrawal time.

While the direct withdrawal option offered by Upwork's payment partners have been immensely helpful given that my country isn't serviced by popular platforms such as Paypal or Payoneer, advances in fintech services by the likes of TransferWise and Wave has presented opportunities for very competitive rates and lightening fast transaction such that the present withdrawal option seems to have outlived its time. 

As someone working out of Africa with the odds somewhat firmly stacked up against us, it's discomfitting to have to face these sort of challenges in withdrawing earned income. I don't know if the payment partners are required to pay a fee to Upwork for rendering this service to us but what I'm certain of is that the rates could be better and the long wait for funds presently being experienced is totally unnecessay. I, and I believe most folks in my region would be immensely grateful if Upwork would look into this and maybe, just maybe let in some other savvy partners.


Hi Goodwin,


Thanks for sharing your feedback. I'll share this with the team for consideration. 

~ Joanne
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